(WFI) Scuffles between Guadalajara players and Internacional fans marred the Brazilian club’s celebrations after the team beat Mexican giants 3-2 to claim a 5-3 aggregate victory in the Copa Libertadores final.
Internacional won the Copa Libertadores – Latin America’s premier club competition – for a second time at the Beira Rio last night after being crowned champions in 2006.
But there were ugly scenes after the final whistle when Guadalajara’s midfielder Marco Fabian De la Mora was punched by an Internacional fan as supporters celebrated their side’s win, according to an AP report.
This sparked fighting between both sets of players, with Guadalajara players also involved in scuffles with Inter supporters who had invaded the pitch after the game finished.
Chivas team then had to be escorted by police when the players went to pick up their runner-up medals.
“What happened is that a fan entered the field and hit our player,” Guadalajara coach Jose Luis Real was quoted by AP. “That’s what caused the problem. It shouldn’t have happened.”
Guadalajara striker Adolfo Bautista added: “That’s not how they should treat us here. That’s why we were upset.”
It was a controversial end to an entertaining match. Internacional started favourites at the Beira Rio stadium in Porto Alegre after winning the first leg 2-1 on the artificial turf of Omnilife Stadium in Guadalajara last week.
But De la Mora threatened to ruin their party when he levelled the score after 43 minutes with a spectacular bicycle kick.
Inter hit back on 61 minutes when Rafael Sobis netted. Leandro made it 2-1 on the night on 76 minutes and Giuliano sealed the result when he found the net with a few minutes to go after Guadalajara’s Omar Arellano was given a red card for a poor tackle on Andres D’Alessandro. The Mexican team hit a consolation in injury-time through Patricio Araujo.
“Thank God I’ve been blessed in the Libertadores. I am tremendously happy. We were always sure and confident of our potential, of what we were able to do. We had what it takes. I feel a lucky boy for helping Inter,” Internacional’s Giuliano was quoted on FIFA.com.
Roberto Abbondanzieri, Pablo Guinazu and D’Alessandro set a new record in becoming the first Argentinians to win the Copa Libertadores playing for a Brazilian team.
Internacional’s win means they will be the CONMEBOL representative at the FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi in December.
By INSIDER editor Mark Bisson
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